Titans’ new-look defense ranked in bottom half of NFL

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Tennessee Titans have undergone a lot of changes on both sides of the ball during the 2021 offseason, but the biggest adjustments have been made on the defensive side thus far.

Tennessee spent over $100 million to improve their defense with additions such as cornerback Janoris Jenkins, outside linebacker Bud Dupree and defensive lineman Denico Autry.

To further bolster their defense, which was among the worst in the NFL last season, Tennessee drafted cornerbacks Caleb Farley and Elijah Molden, as well as inside linebacker Monty Rice; however, those three players are no doubt wild cards for 2021, and really, beyond.

The changes didn’t come without some tough decisions, though, as the team also had to part ways with Adoree’ Jackson, Malcolm Butler and Kenny Vaccaro, on top of losing DaQuan Jones in free agency.

Granted, it wasn’t easy losing any of those players, but then again all four were present in the debacle that was Tennessee’s defense last season.

After all the smoke has cleared from Tennessee’s offseason moves, Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay ranked the Titans’ current unit at No. 22 in his power rankings for every defense in the league.

After ranking amongst the worst defenses in the league last year, the Tennessee Titans knew they had to improve on this side of the ball to realistically contend.

The organization deserves credit for completely revamping some of their most problematic areas this offseason. It overhauled the cornerback position after cutting 2020 starters Adoree’ Jackson and Malcolm Butler, signing Janoris Jenkins and using a first-round pick on Caleb Farley to replace them. The team also added one of the best nickelbacks in the class when it selected Elijah Molden in the third round.

The Titans also needed to work on their edge-rushing capabilities, accomplishing the goal by paying top dollar for Bud Dupree, getting a proven veteran in Denico Autry and taking Rashad Weaver at No. 135 overall.

There is still some work to be done here—most notably at the safety position—but Tennessee is poised for a significant improvement this coming campaign.

The ranking is more than fair considering where Tennessee’s unit currently stands.

After all, we really don’t know what the Titans’ defense will be yet with all of these new parts, and Dupree coming off a torn ACL and the uncertainty of the incoming rookie class makes things even more unpredictable.

Even some players who were already on the roster and could be stepping into bigger roles, like Amani Hooker and Kristian Fulton, are also wild cards. We still don’t know who will replace Jones’ snaps, either.

There’s no question that the talent is there on paper, just like it was last season, but turning that talent into successful execution is another story. Not to mention, defensive coordinator Shane Bowen has to be better.

At worst, we expect the Titans’ defense to be average in 2021, which would be a big step up from 2020 and enough of a complement if Tennessee can continue the torrid offensive pace it has set the past two years.

Related

Tennessee Titans' offseason roster among the oldest in the NFL

9 AFC South stories from last week for Titans fans to know

Titans' Mike Vrabel addresses Rashad Weaver's legal trouble